Skiing is great, but for real thrills, head to Saalbach in Austria and try some mountain madness 

Skiing is great, but for real thrills, head to Saalbach in Austria and try some mountain madness 

What do you do right after a lavish meal of deer tartar, steaming pork knuckle and dumplings, topped off with apple strudel, washed down with Austrian purple wine and a parting shot of mountain firewater?

Why, you wobble out into the darkness of the Austrian Alps, don a crash helmet, say ‘Danke’ to a grizzled guy with a piercing stare who arms you a toboggan, and carry on to hurtle down a snowy slope, all the though whooping with delight.

Saalbach may well be just one of the best ski resorts in Austria, with more than 170 miles of slopes arranged in a ‘Skicircus’ of related pistes that you can take pleasure in in a big round route. But it is also a single of the very best resorts for what you could call additional-curricular mountain madness.

Saalbach, pictured, has a lot more than 170 miles of slopes arranged in a ‘Skicircus’ of related pistes that you can delight in in a huge circular route

Meal at Spielberghaus is a situation in point. You are dragged up the mountain in a cage-like sled at the again of a snowcat (piste-bashing device), devour a feast and then fly down a hill on a smaller plastic contraption.

This is supper the Saalbach way, and there are loads of other implies by which to fill the hole between hanging up your skis and hitting the sack.

Terrifying zipline rides throughout valleys, snowtubing (zooming down slopes on inflated tyres), tandem paragliding to ‘feel as free of charge as a bird as you fly by the air at the exact peak as the clouds’, tiptoeing alongside towering treetop walks, and snowmobile racing on bumpy mountainside tracks are just a several of the activities on present absent from the principal slopes.

The zipline trip, named Traveling Fox XXL, is not for the faint-hearted. Standing by the edge of a 470ft precipice, you are presented a crash helmet, linked to a wire, wished ‘Guten Flug’ (Good flight) and produced throughout the abyss.

Down under, a pine forest spreads out as you achieve speeds of 80mph in advance of descending for one particular mile. The encounter lasts only about 90 seconds, but your reminiscences of it will last a good deal longer.

Afterwards, if continue to in the temper for high experience, head for the Golden Gate & Treetop Path at one particular end of the Saalbach-Hinterglemm valley.

Soar like a bird: Intrepid users of the Flying Fox XXL zipline can reach speeds of up to 80mph

Soar like a fowl: Intrepid consumers of the Traveling Fox XXL zipline can achieve speeds of up to 80mph 

Below you will uncover a 650ft-long suspension bridge spanning a canyon-like void, with the Saalbach River 140ft below.

This is a lot gentler than the Traveling Fox XXL but it is nevertheless a pretty lengthy way up and really slim, foremost to a outstanding network of wood walkways by way of the cover of a larchwood forest. It is the highest these treetop path in Europe.

For individuals who have had their fill of heights, get the horse-drawn sleigh down to the Golden Gate & Treetop Trail’s vehicle park and set off for Snowmobile Town.

At the time crash helmets have been dispersed – seemingly the prelude to most off-piste things to do – you are seated on snowmobiles and presented a thumbs-up ahead of you zoom off for a apply lap of the bumpy track.

Overtaking may well be carried out, subsequent cautiously the instructor’s policies. The most effective component, however, is only allowing the throttle go on uphill sections and emotion that unfamiliar feeling of surging up the mountain.

We have lift-off: A visitor hurtles down the slopes on a giant tube

We have lift-off: A customer hurtles down the slopes on a giant tube 

In action-packed Saalbach, which appeals to a hardy crowd, apres-ski would seem to have extra gusto and the epicentre is Hinterhag Alm, a wooden barn-like developing where by karaoke is likely solid by 4pm.

The social gathering goes on into the early several hours, the later on-evening hub getting the club in the basement of the Saalbacher Hof lodge in the city centre. Anticipate stay new music and people today normally permitting unfastened.

But that’s not to say that households are unsuited to the points of interest of Saalbach. Mom and dad with youngsters and center-aged couples appear to have fallen for the arduous, allow-it- all-go ambiance. But no one appears to be to overdo it either.

That is the way it goes in Saalbach: ski tricky, do everything tough – then get up the next working day, step out into the crisp Alpine air, and do it all yet again.

Vacation FACTS 

T. D. Isacke was a guest of Saalbach and Salzburgerland Tourist Boards (, and Crystal Ski Holiday seasons (, which provides seven nights’ 50 percent-board at the Saalbacher Hof lodge from £1,379pp, together with flights and transfers. A six-day raise move prices from £222. 


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